Looking for a way forward

Pic Bus
Pic Bus

Arriva is changing its commercial services to offer a new, more simplified bus network in north Northumberland from September.

Representatives of Arriva were at Northumberland County Council’s north area committee on Monday night to explain the changes.

They said that the current system is very complex with a wide array of service numbers, which makes it difficult to use for new bus users - precisely the people that will make bus services more viable.

From September 16, the X14, 15 and 16 will be the express services from Newcastle to Morpeth (X14) and to Alnwick and Berwick (X15 via the A1 and X18 via the coast).

The advantages of the new services are that the current problem whereby the buses to Berwick from Belford arrive within three to six minutes of each other will be avoided, while there will be new links between Amble and Druridge Bay, and Newcastle on the X20.

However there will be a reduced Coast and Castles service between Alnwick and Berwick via the coast and Belford, while those wishing to avoid a slower journey to Newcastle from those villages will have to change at Alnwick.

Chairman Coun Pat Scott said: “I hope this is the start of a better relationship between the county council and Arriva.”